BAGUIO CITY – The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) reported that the city’s urban ecology and environment is still in good condition amidst prevailing issues on the supposed rapid deterioration of the environment.
City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Evelyn G. Cayat said that green governance is among the city’s thrusts which aims to preserve the state of the city’s environment with activities like tree planting, regreening and environmental advocacies conducted by the local government and stakeholders to maintain its clean and green environment.
In the updated comprehensive land use plan, she revealed the local government has designated some 530 hectares of land which are forested or covered with pine trees as non-buildable zone and not alienable and disposable as the said lands are the remaining forested areas located within the city boundaries, apart from the city’s existing watersheds.
The city planning officer claimed that the said areas are bigger than the total area of the city’s watersheds which account for only 240 hectares.
As for clean air, Cayat pointed out the city’s ambient air quality is still within standards or in good to fair quality with the city government partnering with Clean Air Asia, an international non-government organization advocating for clean cities, to help in strengthening existing programs to sustain efforts to clean the city’s air from unwanted pollutants.
On solid waste management, she stated that all of the city’s 128 barangays are covered by the existing garbage collection system aside from the ongoing search for a suitable site for the establishment of the city’s sanitary landfill and other alternative technologies.
Earlier, the local government signed a memorandum of agreement with the State-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) for the conduct of the appropriate studies on the put up of a waste-to-energy facility within the 29-11-hectare area ceded by the Benguet Corporation (BC) to the city for the put up of its proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan recently issued an administrative order creating a technical working group (TWG) to assess, evaluate and study proposals submitted by proponents of solid waste and renewable energy projects which is a requisites for the eventual declaration of Baguio city as an Eco Green City.
Domogan was the city mayor when Baguio won the Hall of Fame award for the cleanest and greenest highly urbanized city in 1995 following the intensified implementation of efforts to help sustain the cleanliness and bring back the greenery of the city.
He emphasized it is important for local residents to assist the concerned government agencies and the local government in ensuring the proper maintenance of the city’s environment because the good state of the city’s environment will be the best gift that the people could pass on to the next generations of city residents.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by: Armando M. Bolislis